Jul 04

India invites Pakistan to play T20 Champions League

PCB has received an invitation from India for October’s Twenty20 Champions League.Sialkot Stallions to play T20 Indian Champions League

It would a step towards reviving cricket ties between the arch-rivals which have been suspended since 2008.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) last month gave the go ahead to include Pakistan s Twenty20 champions in the multinational league, which brings together 10 top teams, including those from India, Australia and South Africa.

“PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) confirms that an invitation has been received from the Champions League Twenty20, inviting the winners of Pakistan Twenty20 event to participate in the qualifying tournament,” a statement issued by the PCB said.

“The invitation will be discussed in the PCB s Executive Coordination Committee meeting on Wednesday.”

The PCB last month called the invitation “the first step towards reviving cricketing ties between the two countries”.

The main league will be held from October 9-28 in South Africa, with qualifying rounds taking place before the main event.

The Sialkot Stallions won the domestic Twenty20 event in Pakistan earlier this year. They were due to feature in the inaugural Champions League in 2009 but were not invited after India severed bilateral relations with Pakistan in the wake of terrorist attacks on Mumbai.

New Delhi blamed militants based in Pakistan for the attacks which left 166 people dead.

Both Pakistan and India have since come a long way in normalising ties, with the opening of trade earlier this year.

Pakistan s President Asif Ali Zardari toured India for a day earlier this year, requesting prime minister Manmohan Singh to revive cricketing ties, prompting BCCI s decision to include a Pakistani team in the league.

Pakistan expects a breakthrough in relations later this year but the BCCI said the Indian team s hectic schedule is the main hurdle in arranging any series in the near future.